Totilas Returns to Competition, Hagen CDI4* Grand Prix With 80%

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Totilas being ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath. File Photo © Ken Braddick/dressge-news.com
Totilas being ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath. File Photo © Ken Braddick/dressge-news.com

HAGEN, Germany, July 10, 2015–Totilas returned to the international competition arena after the latest year-long injury time out, ridden conservatively by Matthias Alexander Rath to a score of 80.360 per cent in the CDI4* Grand Prix before half-empty spectator stands on Friday.

The ride was the first competition for the 15-year-old KWPN stallion since July 19, 2014 when the pair competed on the German Nations Cup team at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany.

The score of 80.360 per cent included a single mark of 10 from one judge–Vincenzo Truppa of Italy awarded the pair the maximum mark for the first of the two final centerline passage tours–assured the pair of their 11th straight victory spread over the last three years of performances.

There were mistakes in the one-tempi changes, as has often been a problem throughout the six-year Grand Prix career of Totilas.

As a qualification competition for Germany, the result may have been enough to earn a start on the German team at the European Championships to be held at home next month.

If the 30-year-old rider and the black stallion are selected for the German team it will be only the second championship for the duo, the other being the Europeans at Rotterdam in 2011. They missed out on the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Games because of injuries.

The Europeans are important for Germany from a public relations standpoint but the nation already qualified at last year’s world championships along with Great Britain and the Netherlands for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The pair has dropped to 399th in the world rankings as of the end of June because of a lack of competition results.

Since being acquired by Paul Schockemöhle and Ann-Katrin Linsenhof, Matthias’s stepmother, after the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky where Edward Gal and Totilas won three gold medals the record has been marked by injuries.

The debut international competition in 2011 was delayed because of a hoof abscess but beginning in June that year the duo went on to perform at four consecutive major shows that ended after the Europeans in Rotterdam where Germany took silver.

They did not compete again until Hagen, Germany in April of 2012 then was forced to miss the Olympics with yet another injury and did not return to the competition circuit for another two years. Then after a string of four shows did not compete again for another year until Friday’s Grand Prix.